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Germany is warning of possible natural gas rationing amid a dispute with Russia


March 31, 2022: -Germany has declared an “early warning” that it could soon be facing a natural gas emergency as Europe’s biggest economy prepares for the risk of a complete supply disruption from Russia.

The Kremlin has demanded that “unfriendly” countries pay in rubles for gas, referring to those behind heavy economic sanctions designed to isolate Russia over its unprovoked onslaught in Ukraine.

The G-7 induces Germany to reject that demand. Most countries currently pay for Russian gas in euros or dollars.

Wednesday, German Economic Minister Robert Habeck said that the “early warning” measure was the initial of three stages and does not yet imply a state intervention to ration gas supplies.

However, Habeck is known for consumers and companies to reduce consumption, which tells a news conference that scaling back energy use is a help to both Germany and Ukraine.

“We are in a situation where I have to say clearly that every kilowatt-hour of energy saved helps, and that is why I would like to combine the triggering of the warning level for gas supplies with an appeal for help to companies and private consumers,” Habeck said, according to a translation by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

“You are helping Germany; you help Ukraine when you reduce your use of gas or energy in general.”

European countries’ dependence on Russian energy exports has been thrust into the spotlight since the Kremlin launched its invasion on February 24, prompting a barrage of punitive economic measures from the U.S. and international allies.

The conflict triggers a devastating humanitarian crisis and sends shockwaves through financial markets.

According to New York’s Intercontinental, the front-month gas price at the Dutch TTF hub, a European benchmark for natural gas trading, traded up more than 11% at 120.5 euros per megawatt-hour on Wednesday Exchange.

The TTF-month ahead index has traded at elevated levels in recent weeks, partly because of persistent geopolitical concerns.

For the time being, Germany’s supplies were safeguarded, Habeck said, before adding the government was closely monitoring supply flows with market operators.

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